Guidelines to Observe in Preparing Your Wedding

Booking the Church

To reserve the church for your wedding it is necessary to come to the sacristy of the church of St. Mary & St. John, Station Rd. A five-year Diary is kept there for booking weddings. The bookings are on a first come first serve basis. The priest or the sacristan will write in the date, church (St. Mary & St. John or Christ our Light) and time of the marriage. In order to avoid confusion this should be done personally and not over the ‘phone. If the date is later changed or the wedding is cancelled you should come back and have the booking cancelled. This will leave the date free for someone else.

The Civil Registrar

Anybody intending to marry in the Republic of Ireland must give three months notice to the Registrar for the District in which the marriage is to take place. This notice must be given at least three months before the marriage. If you forget to give this notice three months in advance then you will have to go to the Circuit Family Court for an exemption. The Registrar is located at Adelaide House, Adelaide Street, Cork.

Notice to the Priests

The woman who intends to marry must notify the priest of the parish in which she lives three months before the wedding. The man must also notify the priest of the parish in which he lives three months before the wedding. This is so because it is they who will be completing the two sets of pre-marriage papers.

Pre-Marriage Course

Each couple must do a pre-marriage course. It is recommended that you book a course at least six months before the date of the wedding. Pre-marriage courses are given in Cork by three agencies. They are;

  • Cork Marriage Counselling Centre, 34, Paul St., Cork. Tel. 021-275678
  • N.A.O.M.I., 36 Washington St., Cork.Tel. 021-272213
  • Catholic Engaged Encounter Tel. 021-357571, 021-353908, 021-304070.

Marriage Papers

You will need;

  1. A certificate of Baptism recently issued (not more than six months old)
  2. Evidence of Confirmation
  3. Evidence that you have completed a pre-marriage course
  4. Proof that you had not been married before in some place where you had lived for six months or more since you reached marriageable age. You will get such a letter of freedom from the priest of the parish where you lived whether in another part of Ireland or abroad

When you have got these documents together bring them to the priest of the parish in which you now live and he will put them together as well as completing a lengthy form containing such data as the names of the Best Man and Bridesmaid, your future intended place of residence, etc. At this stage you should make a contribution to the priest. He will then forward all your documents to the church where you are to be married.

Mixed Marriage

If your proposed partner is not Catholic you will need to get a ‘dispensation’ from the bishop. As this may take some time please contact your local priest in good time.


There is a church organ in each of our churches. You may employ the organist of your choice.


You must make your own arrangements about the floral decoration of the church. Sometimes when two weddings occur on consecutive days or on the same day the cost of the flowers can be shared. The priest or sacristan will put both families in touch if they so wish.


You may wish to arrange a wedding rehearsal with the priest who will be celebrating the wedding Mass. As the churches are locked up at seven p.m., the rehearsal should be completed by that time.

Wedding Booklet

If you wish to have a booklet printed, you may like to look over the choice of Scriptural Readings and the different forms of exchanging consent available. You may select a First Reading from the following:

  • And our love will be the gift of our life
  • as we place all our hope in you.